Product Support Selling - Aftermarket
Construction Equipment Distribution magazine is published by the Associated Equipment Distributors, a nonprofit trade association founded in 1919, whose membership is primarily comprised of the leading equipment dealerships and rental companies in the U.S. and Canada. AED membership also includes equipment manufacturers and industry-service firms. CED magazine has been published continuously since 1920. Associated Equipment Distributors
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Product Support Selling

Written By: Ron Slee

Article Date: 06-04-2007
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.

It's about selling not just market coverage.

In recent columns, I've focused on establishing territories and market segmentation for Product Support Sales Reps (PSSR). Other items on your "to do" list included establishing sales objectives for each assigned customer, creating sales tools for each parts family and serviceoffering your company provides in the market, and establishing market share for each of the part product you sell and each service you offer. Establishing sales objectives for PSSRs assigned customers is a large job and requires several steps before it can be completed successfully. First you need to know what the working machine population is for each customer. Then you need compile to a list of other suppliers each customer currently uses to satisfy their needs. Each PSSR must obtain this information for each of their assigned customers.

New and used equipment sales departments know their market shares to the 5th decimal place. And the dealership knows the market share for each size and type of equipment they carry. But in parts and service, we don't know a thing about our market share for parts and service. It's about time we paid more attention to our performance in the marketplace.

In parts and service, we're concerned about all the internal metrics that we think reflect how well we do our jobs - operating metrics such as inventory service levels, service quality, departmental expense levels, and others. Yet we rarely know our customer retention rates and we clearly don't know our market share for parts and service.

AED's Product Support Opportunities Handbook provides a step by step method of calculating market opportunity for your marketplace. It provides a starting point for each PSSR to develop the sales potential for each of the customers in their assigned territories.

Each customer in each territory must have a complete and accurate machine population accessible to each PSSR and to the company. It's the responsibility of the PSSR to get the information and to maintain it and it's the responsibility of the company to provide a system to maintain and report on it.

From these records, we can obtain the market potential for each assigned customer and determine how much of that potential we actually obtain. Next we can find out what competitors have taken our business. This is serious business.

Remember, you are the only dealership in the marketplace with the complete responsibility for the parts and labor used on the equipment you sell. Everyone else in the market is trying to get a part of the business you've created.

In some cases, your competitors have taken this business by default because you didn't pay enough attention. You didn't have a PSSR assigned to the account and many of your customers think you don't care. Or that you only pay attention to the largest customers. (To quote one of the customers who responded to the survey for the Product Support Handbook, "You better be a large customer if you want any attention during the busy season.")

I don't think the OEM dealer has much more than 40 percent of the available parts business or more than 25 percent of the service business for the equipment they represent. You can do better.

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Article Categories:  Product Support  »  Sales